coming out of my shell

coming out of my shell

Friday, February 8, 2019

Decluttering against all the odds

I have been trying to rid myself of things we no longer need or use. If you are a pack rat you will easily understand the deep emotional ties some of us have with, well, just about anything. It is hard, even painful, to de-clutter. "Things" can represent memories, a life, or old friends. Voluntary parting with things involves fear, anxiety, love, anticipation, regret, and despair. ALL of these emotions hurt my heart. I want that to change. 

I went through this 5 years ago when we moved to Florida. We had been in our NYS house for 24 years. It had both an attic and a basement, if you catch my drift. At the end, I became as familiar with our rented dumpster as I did with the Salvation Army donation center.

What I am finally realizing is that we didn't do enough. We brought too much to Florida. Sheesh.

I vow here and now, before the entire blog world, to get serious about downsizing my belongings over the next 6 months. There, I said it. Now let's see if I can do it.

Feel free to share what motivates you to let go. Climate friendly tips are especially welcome, and will result in a few weeks off for you from purgatory after you die. I'm almost sure of it.


 
Must.Let.Go!!!!!

22 comments:

  1. When I left my husband I took very little with me. There were too many secrets in our life together. I wanted everything to be out I the open so I only took what I needed, he took everything else. He is a hoarder. I'm happy with what I took but being back in a house with lots of empty space I can feel things accumulating again. I try not to keep things beyond their usefulness to me and have a goodwill box in the mudroom when things go on a regular basis.

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  2. Getting ready to start the decluttering process here. 2 houses (?!), 2 garages, and 3 sheds. OMG what were we thinking?! I am totally DAUNTED! But you know what? The one thing I know we're taking with us are the table and chairs you and Tom gave us when you left Ithaca ❤

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    1. Love you, Carol! You can do this. And just think of the spectacular yard sale you can have.

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  3. You reeled me in with the Title 'hook' for this post, winks... I'm similarly afflicted so I don't know that I'd be the best motivational speaker about any of this. I have been on the relentless, never ending, edit and purge of possessions for YEARS now. I'm making progress since I have a 5-to-1 Rule firmly in place for anything coming in... just to keep the Human Magpie in me at bay. I won't Judge... all I can offer is a heartfelt good luck with that and I hope it all works out! WINKS

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    1. Thanks, Dawn. At least you periodically sell your stuff. And you have a better eye for beauty than most.

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  4. My BFF moved from the snow belt of Lake Erie to the outer banks of South Carolina. The new house appeared to me roughly the same size, but as she testily pointed out, it had no basement or attic! She said her rule of thumb was to take enough of any collection to keep it meaningful, or as little to make it priceless.
    When I moved here, from the 5 bedroom old house to 1000 square feet, I came with next to nothing and had to acquire new furniture, cooking utensils, etc. I only had too many tools, and I still have them! When I downsize to 500 feet, I think it will be very easy. My conclusion from that is, mentally strip it all away and then mentally replace essentials. Donate the rest.

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    1. I love what your friend said. I will try to keep that in mind.

      500 feet! You won't be able to succumb to clutter in that space, my friend. It will keep you honest and pure. :)

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  5. I'm not much of a hoarder. I have a few boxes of things we've schlepped from house to house in all of our moves. Roger has lots and lots of stuff from his woodworking days. We have most of that stuff still with us. He did do a pretty good purge when we left Grass Valley in 2014. But we still have plenty to go through. We'd like to downsize in the future and fantasize about not taking much with us. Good luck with your letting go!

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    1. The idea of having little to schlep around is so attractive to me.

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  6. As soon as I read about the decreased time in Purgatory you had me. BTW, are you also selling indulgences? I am in constant declutter mode, have been for years and there's still too much stuff around here! If I buy a new item of clothing I try to donate three. Like Lily, I have an on-going donation box in the mud room. One glance is enough to see that I have accumulated more clothes than a person living in Florida could ever need, though keeping the winter woolies against the weather 'what ifs?' turned out to be a good thing this year! It doesn't help that some of my favorite haunts are thrift shops. Books are the worst! Who can resist a book you want to read that B & N wants twenty or thirty $$$ for when you can have the hardback for $1:50 or the paperback for .50 cents? Not me, unfortunately. Marie Kondo gives me the jitters, and I've only read the book, not seen the show. If I took everything out of my closet and put it on the bed, and fondled each piece to determine if it brought me joy, not only would it give me an anxiety attack, we would have to make other sleeping arrangements for at least a week. Oy! I'll bre following your progress with avid interest and maybe it'll encourage me to up my game....

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    1. Ha! I've been known to sell an indulgence or two, if someone is willing to fall for my BS. I'll keep you posted! And I'm definitely going to start an on-going donation box.

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  7. I know exactly what you mean. I have moved from one place to another and found boxes that I had previously moved. They were still packed and ready to go. It is so hard to let go of some things.

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    1. It really is! I'm not completely sure why.

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  8. I'm not much or a hoarder but you have renewed my sense of simplifying. I won't do it today but I am going to take one of my empty storage bins and it will be a constant donation station. Nice reminder.

    Good luck with your big job.

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  9. I have been decluttering all my adult life. There must be something I am not doing right or maybe goblins fill the attic while I am asleep.

    No, seriously, my problem is what to do with it. What with all the negative effects of the recycling economy on developing countries (most of the donated clothing from Europe ends up on street markets in Africa) and what to do with stuff that actually pollutes and - you know what I mean.

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    1. I do. I'm often nearly paralyzed with indecision simply because I don't know how to ethically get rid of something.

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  10. I have a terrible time throwing things away -- actually putting them in the trash. But donating them to charity isn't a problem for me. I probably give more to charity than I should, forcing THEM to throw it away, but hey -- it lets me get the job done. I guess my advice is, if something has any semblance of value, and you feel guilty about trashing it -- donate, donate, donate!

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    1. I will. And the comments above about having a constant donation box someplace convenient is going to be the key to that.

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  11. I keep a bag in the closet and as it gets filled, haul it to Goodwill. It does feel like a constant process.

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So, whadayathink?